Friday, January 28, 2011

Why is Doing Nothing so Easy?

I am naturally a lazy person. I fully admit it. I work pretty long hours, so when I have the free time, I usually just sit around in my boxers watching TV and drinking a beer or five. Yeah, I'm classy like that. It can be tough to get off the couch to work out, or even to stay on the couch and pull out the old laptop to write a little bit when I have a minute. Just trust me on that one.

My own struggle with laziness got me thinking: why is it that so many people have such big dreams but never act on them? People have a variety of excuses that they employ: "I'm too tired after working all day," "The kids are too much to deal with," "I just want to sit back and relax," "There's too much to do around the house." Then, one day, you wake up, you're forty, and you wonder where the hell the time went. Some people are happy to trade whatever dreams they had for a little security so that they can support their families, which I understand on some level. I wouldn't be the person that I am today if my parents didn't make such a sacrifice, and people with kids often make their kids' success and well-being their dream. I get it.

Others float through life, clinging to the idea that they'll get around to their dreams "someday," without any idea when that day is, or any clue how to get started on that dream when they finally reach the finish line. What if you drop dead of a heart attack the year after you retire? I guess all of that life deferment would really pay off in that instance, eh?

The above excuses are a lot of B.S. If you truly enjoy doing something, it should be enjoyable, if not always "fun," for you to "work" on it as a hobby. From a hobby, you can snowball it into a lifestyle, and, if you so choose, a business. By no means am I an expert on parenting, but if you have kids, wake up early or stay up late to work on your passion. Try to expose your kids to what you enjoy—maybe they can even help. If not, that's cool, too—the important point is that you should always be striving to make progress on a significant goal outside of your professional life. This leads to self-improvement, and ultimately fulfillment. It can also lead to some pretty hectic days, weeks, and even months. But if it truly is your passion, it should all be worth it. It shouldn't feel like work at all—it should feel good.

Newton was a great mind of his time, and although he got a few things wrong, one thing that got right was his first law of motion. I mean, he thought it was so important that he made it the first one! "An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

Basically, if you float through life like a lump of crap, you'll continue doing so until a major life event (including death) stops you from doing so. If you take matters into your own hands and provide yourself a push in the direction you want to be going, doing something that you legitimately enjoy, then you, by all accounts, should be able to continue in that direction until a major life event forces you to change course. The key, then, is to take affirmative steps toward your goal NOW.

Next time you find yourself thinking, "Man, I really wish I was [writing/cooking/making fine chairs/singing/etc.] right now," instead of thinking of all of the reasons you can't do it, think of ways to make it so that you can. Stop making excuses and start living life. YOU are the only one that can decide to do so. No more excuses. No more blaming others. It's on YOU.

Questions? Comments? Wondering where this snot-nosed punk gets the audacity to lecture YOU, of all people? Duly noted. E-mail me at

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